Therapy Following Spinal Cord InjuryBy Martin, Rebecca; Rehab Management,
Publication Date: July 2011
Article discusses therapy to improve hand function following spinal cord injury (SCI). Overnight use of a static resting hand splint is recommended to maintain tendon length in the acute phase of SCI. In the subacute phase, dynamic splinting is introduced to stretch desired tissues or facilitate a given action, as exemplified by elbow extension assist splints to prevent biceps shortening and wrist driven hinge orthoses to facilitate grip. In chronic SCI, splints are generally used to facilitate a desired function, such as a wrist cock-up splint with incorporated universal cuff for feeding. From this point, recommended treatment includes a balance of restorative interventions, such as repetitive grasp and release activities facilitated by functional electrical stimulation (FES), and compensatory training, including specific task practice, task and environmental modifications, and functional splinting. FES provides the therapist with a mechanism to move muscles that patients are unable to control on their own. The most successful FES applications target gross functions, such as grasp and lateral pinch. The article offers a brief case description of a 21-year-old male SCI patient to demonstrate how the different aspects of therapy fit together to improve hand function.
Published by: Ascend Media LLC (Website:http://www.ascendmedia.com)
Link to text: http://www.rehabpub.com/issues/articles/2011-07_05.asp